I decided to create a short intro video about my projects. Now, you can put a face to my name and we can be friends. Thanks again for stopping by!
When you are inspired, you can create beautiful things.
Here is a dreamy transformation for you.
A Laundry Room Makeover
I did a thing. That’s my go-to phrase nowadays. I’ve been doing projects and each time I start a new one, it’s common for me to say “I started a thing.” I’m not a carpenter or builder, but I have been enjoying recent creations.
There are so many steps that went into this laundry room project, but this is not a “How-to” post and I did not take good notes. I have no idea on budget, but roughly I believe we spent around $3,000 in total. That includes tile, a gazillion 2×4’s, wall planks for the walls and ceiling, plywood for cabinetry, countertops, screws, glue, electrical, drywall, and probably more. This became a much larger project than I had imagined. I had no idea how much time and detail would go into this.
We did save money on cabinet doors and 3 of the closet doors by supporting our local Habitat for Humanity store, Habitat for Humanity Johnson County ReStore. My sister told me about this place and it’s awesome! You can find all sorts of things that may or may not work for you from furniture to tools to lighting and even whole kitchen cabinet sets.
This is my first attempt at a renovation or room makeover – literally from the floor and studs in. This is where we started. We have a basement laundry room. It’s been a “room” since we’ve owned this house, but it was a utility room that had a washer and dryer in the corner. It wasn’t out of the ordinary for this age of home. As a Realtor®, I see a lot of laundry rooms. They come in all shapes and sizes and locations. They are not all pretty and they are not all big. Our laundry room was big but it wasn’t pretty or super useful. But, it had plenty of space – I just needed to plan it out and definitely get rid of the glued down industrial carpet.
I took these pictures after I had already begun some demo of the ceiling. I also marked the floor where I wanted my new cabinets to go. This was my space and I had an idea, so I sketched my thoughts on graph paper. Then, I shared my idea with my hubby and told him I wanted to work on this project over the winter.
One week ago, I decided to plan our summer. Yes, summer break began pretty much the same day I decided to plan our summer. I do not always plan ahead. I enjoy being spontaneous. I also know that I will most certainly follow through on plans I make in advance. I want my boys to enjoy this summer.
The choice I make this summer is to take each Friday and reserve it especially for me and my three boys. This is difficult for me since I am a REALTOR and pride myself on being readily available to my clients. My family is more important to me.
I remember summers when I was a young girl. We spent many nights at the ball diamond watching my siblings or my dad play ball. I saved up pennies just to buy a piece of bubblegum. We would also spend a lot of time at state parks and go camping. We took swim lessons and played with friends. I almost forgot to mention day camp! We had mostly lazy summers and they were a blast!
Do you know that summer is only about 8 weeks long now? That’s how long we have until school starts again. Growing up, summer was 12 full weeks! This year, I will attempt to make the most of the time I have with my boys until they go back to school in the fall. I enjoy the “balanced calendar” schedule with two weeks for fall and spring break. It does make it more difficult to fit all the plans I dream of for my family during the summer.
I had fun researching activities and mostly inexpensive things to do this summer. Our Fridays will be more than full. I suspect we will expand our Friday fun into the weekend with my amazing husband, Tom. Dads like to have fun too. We will have a great summer.
Perhaps by sharing with you, I can help another family become spontaneous and have an amazing summer.
1. CATHOLIC CHURCH FESTIVALS
One of our favorite family traditions is attending our parish festival on opening night. This is a great way to see local bands, ride fair rides, and perhaps play some bingo!
2. COUNTY FAIRS
What better way to enjoy summer than to support the local community! Watch 4-H kids compete, see local talent perform, and view local art. All of this without going far from home!
3. INDIANA STATE FAIR
Although the fair begins after most schools start, it’s still a great summer tradition! Don’t miss the Circle City Sidewalk Stompers performances on the streets of the fair.
4. SUMMER CONCERTS
There are outdoor concerts right here in Indy. Many are even FREE! One of my favorite locations is Mallow Run Winery where we bring a picnic dinner or grab a bite at the food trucks.
5. WATER PARKS/POOLS/SPLASH PARKS
Indianapolis is the home of over 25 splash and play parks. Inside and around Indy, you will find great choices for spending those hot summer days. That’s where we will be!
6. STATE PARKS
Take a day to go hiking and enjoy a picnic or spend several nights camping. If tent camping is not your idea of fun, there are parks that offer family cabins too!
7. THEME PARKS
8. INDIANAPOLIS ZOO
I can’t talk about summer plans without mentioning one of our favorites. We have a lot of favorites. The dolphin show at the Indy Zoo is well done. The new orangutan exhibit is terrific!
9. CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF INDIANAPOLIS
This is a great option for a rainy day, although it can get crowded. This is always a good back up option for us during the summer especially when friends and family come for a visit.
Get out the sun screen! There is nothing better than spending the day with family and friends on the White River. You can canoe or float lazily down the river. We like going to Blues Canoes!
What are your plans? What would you add to my list? You will no doubt be able to enjoy having fun as a Hoosier this summer.
I ♥ Indiana!
“When I fall in love it will be forever, or I’ll never fall in love,” There’s just one problem with this Nat King Cole song. Like many love songs, or dare I say most love song lyrics today, this song refers to “falling in love” as if it is something that happens to us when the right person comes along.
Ever since I was a young girl, I thought people fell in love. As I grew into a young woman, I noticed that many people also fell “out of love.” When I struggled with my own feelings for a boyfriend, I would wonder, “Am I now in love? How will I know when I’m in love? When do I say “I love you”?”
I’d like you to meet my amazing and wonderful husband, Tom. We met in march of 1999. We dated just under 3 years and were married in March of 2002. I recall telling Tom “I love you” when we were dating because I thought I heard him say it first. Apparently he did not say it first, so I felt a little foolish. I can’t tell him I love him if he doesn’t first say it to me!
It wasn’t until about 7 years of marriage when I understood what love truly meant. We had noticed an increase in divorces in our friends’ marriages and in my siblings’ marriages. We couldn’t understand why. There were no warnings, no outcries to us for help. Each time seemed to surprise us and had us scratching our heads.
Sometimes we had the opportunity of listening to the “why” behind the divorce decisions. We heard that they were no longer “in love” or that it wasn’t really “love” in the first place. Or, “it wasn’t meant to be” because he/she wasn’t the “right person.” The more we heard, the more we became frustrated.
IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE
What if that happens to us? It seemed to happen suddenly without any alarm for so many of the people we know, so why should we think it couldn’t suddenly happen to us? We agreed to attend a weekend marriage retreat called Worldwide Marriage Encounter. In 2010, our marriage was drastically transformed. We learned that we were very much on the same path as so many other couples we knew. Why were we spared and why are we thriving in marriage today?
We chose to love! Love is a choice. It is an action verb. It is not simply something you stumble upon or fall out of. It is making the decision to put your spouse first. It is a decision to be un-selfish in your desires because you choose to put your spouse first. It is giving of yourself without expecting something in return.
Wow! That made a huge difference in our outlook on love. Just as I chose to say “I love you” to Tom because I thought we were in love, I continue to make the choice to love him. That’s it. When we decide, “okay, I think I love him, so I am going to tell him,” what we are really saying is “I choose to put you first because you matter to me.”
We went for so long living together in marriage but not always choosing to love. We became like roommates. We got along well and had fun together, but we were growing apart intimately. We avoided certain subjects of discussion, like finances, because we did not know how to discuss our concerns without becoming frustrated and angry. Then there are these little people who live with us. We now have three sons, and as you may know, it is easy to put the kids first over yourself and especially your spouse.
7 REASONS NOT TO LOVE
I heard a fascinating discussion on healthcare and insurance this morning. I tend to be somewhat of a conservative talk radio junkie. The cat’s out of the bag! I admit it and, quite frankly, I’m okay with that.
The guest of the show today had some great things to say. I will do my best to paraphrase what he said.
“We pay for car insurance in case our vehicle is involved in a crash. We pay home insurance in case a tree limb falls on our house. However, we expect our health insurance to cover everything.”
His point today is that our auto insurance does not pay to fill our car with gas or pay for oil changes. Our homeowner’s insurance does not pay for painting our house or regular maintenance on our house. Yet, with our health insurance, we often expect all of these things to be taken care of.
I used to think this way. Well, that is until I became an economist!
Okay, so I am not really an economist.
I have a degree in economics. That really doesn’t mean a lot and certainly does not make me an economist, but I did learn a few practical things. One is that insurance was designed for people who are risk averse. It is a way for us to make a purchase or to do something we would not ordinarily do. At least, not without some form of protection in case something goes wrong. Sometimes insurance is our choice. Other times we are required by law, be it state or federal, to have insurance. Some people choose to have minimal or no coverage insurance coverage because they believe they have enough money set-aside for the “what if” possibilities in life.
Here’s my point. Healthcare does not equal health insurance.
Insurance is not perfect and health care costs are crazy. But, I for one am very happy that we have the option to have insurance coverage. That is, until I have enough cash stashed away for all the “what-ifs” in my life. Maybe I’ll plant a money tree!
Here is a great explanation of insurance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insurance
Here I sit on my cozy couch with our gray cat, Luca, snuggled right up next to me. He spent about five minutes trying to wrestle his way onto my lap before he realized he did not stand a chance against the computer for prime lap space. This cat is so sweet and determined. He is a beautiful cat. I probably should not own a cat, let a lone two cats. I am allergic to cats. I’m not sure if I am allergic to all cats, but I am certainly allergic to Luca. He is a lover. I’m pretty sure he thinks I am his human and he owns me. When I sit down, he comes over and climbs on my lap. Then he proceeds to climb up higher and higher to rub his nose on my face as if he is giving me kisses. He will rub his cold wet nose vigorously on my arm and hand until I give him my undivided attention. This is not unusual for any cat, but he is certainly one of the most determined cats I have ever been owned by. Tom laughs when Luca is mauling me when I am trying to do something other than give the cat attention.
Then it begins. My eyes get itchy. I use my hands to rub my eyes. More dander is introduced since I was just petting him. Next, I begin sneezing. I believe my record is around twenty. My eyes become red and I make friends with the kleenex box.
I have learned that I can be besties with my gray furry friend if I can just keep him away from my face. I also have to keep my hands away from my face and wash them. In a perfect world, Luca and I would be inseparable. But, for now… I’ll keep the tissues close by.
Sing with me! “I’ve got personality”
I like to write. I enjoy sharing my stories and I hope other people will like them too. I have gone through phases of my life where I have kept a journal. When I was a young girl, I had a journal that was about 3 inches by 5 inches big. I may still have it in a memory box, somewhere. I recall writing about my friends and simple day to day things in life that consume a young girl’s mind. Somehow, the thrill of writing in a journal never quite stuck with me. I would lose interest or perhaps forget where I kept my “secret” diary.
When I was in the military, I kept a journal of my life while I was deployed. There were many things that were not appropriate to talk about on the phone, so I would write about them with the hopes of sharing them later.
There have been bible studies I have really enjoyed where I was challenged to write about my faith journey. I did not manage to keep up with those either.
Three years ago, our son had an accident that kept him hospitalized for 49 days. I started an online journal to keep everyone updated on his progress and recovery. That was the longest journal I have ever kept and now I am making it into a book. I kept it up consistently for a year and then tapered off after a couple years.
There are many times in life when I have used a journal. For me, it sometimes works as a therapy. It is a way for me to openly share and express myself. Sometimes it’s just for me. Other times, I share with anyone who will listen and it is used to show God’s love.
Here I am again. This sounds fun! No one has challenged me to start a blog, besides myself. I do not seek this out to be just like everyone else. This is me. I like to share and you are free to follow along. It’s my life.